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Thursday
July 24, 2014

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Anaconda
(Reviewed April 1, 1997)
Rating: Not worthy of a star
Order this DVD or Blu-ray through Amazon.com

Anaconda
by Luis Llosa is a riot of special effects but as dramatically negligible as you would expect. If you haven’t seen it, see if you can answer the following questions about it.

1. The expedition up the Amazon is (a) to shoot big game, (b) to capture big snakes to sell to zoos, (c) to film some shy Indian tribesmen known as “People of the Mist”

2. The leader of the expedition is (a) Warren Westridge (Jonathan Hyde), an insufferable British golf nut and opera lover, (b) Danny (Ice Cube), the tough, wise-cracking boy from the LA hood who listens to loud rap music on his boom box, (c) Terri Flores (Jennifer Lopez), a gorgeous young film student.

3. A sinister river man with a terrible accent and an almost Nicholsonian capacity for overacting comes on board, hijacks the expedition and terrorizes everyone. He is played by (a) Ice Cube, (b) Eric Stoltz, (c) Jon Voigt.

4. A very smart (but sexy) professor could have prevented this, but he gets a poisonous wasp stuck in his throat and spends most of the film comatose—except, of course, for when he is most needed. He is played by (a) Ice Cube, (b) Jon Voigt, (c) Eric Stoltz.

5. Which one of the following is not eaten by a snake? (a) Jonathan Hyde, (b) Jon Voigt, (c) Ice Cube. Be careful with this one. The answer is not the same as it would have been 10 or 20 years ago.

6. One of the characters is said to have “studied for the priesthood” but left his studies because of the pull of “the real world.” He often mutters Latin tags from the old fashioned mass and makes mysterious, pope-like blessings with the sign of the cross. He is (a) the professor, (b) the British golfer, (c) the bad guy.

7. In case the kiddies in the back row start to get bored with the capacity for mayhem of a hundred foot, man-eating snake, the film-makers will also (a) blow it up, (b) set it on fire, (c) chop its head off, (d) all of the above.

If, through your expert knowledge of the ways of Hollywood, you already know the answers to these questions—and I strongly suspect you do—why bother going to see the movie?




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